Ventspils got back on track in Group B with a tough 77-74 win over Snaidero Udine on Tuesday in Latvia to improve to 2-2. Eddie Shannon led five Ventspils scorers in double figures with 21 points and 5 assists as the team joined a three-way tie for third place in the group with Snaidero and Besiktas. Ventspils outscored Snaidero in a big 32-16 first quarter, but Snaidero stormed back with an amazing 20-4 run to tie the score at 36-36. A 0-7 run late in the third quarter gave Snaidero a 58-64 cushion, but the hosts answered with a 13-3 stretch that gave them a 71-67 lead at the midway point of the last period. The game would come down to the wire, with Kristaps Valters giving the visitors a slim 72-73 advantage, but Shannon taking the lead for good as Ventspils held on for the win. Dusan Jelic produced a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds, Dalron Johnson netted 13, Aigars Vitols 11 and Uvis Helmanis 10 for Ventspils. Damon Williams chipped in 13 and added 9 rebounds and 3 assists for Snaidero, while Valters drilled 12 with 5 assists, Jakob Jaacks nailed 11 and Christian Di Giuliomaria and Silvio Gigena posted 10 apiece.
Helmanis and Raimonds Vaikulis gave Ventspils a 5-0 start before Andrew Wisniewski got Udine on the board with a three-point-play. But Helmanis and Shannon responded with back-to-back triples to boost the hosts to 11-3. Michele Antonutti's dunk capped a 0-6 run for the visitors, but Ventspils came right back with 8 unanswered points, taking a double-digit advantage on a Dusan Jelic layup. Johnson increased the cushion to 25-14 with a mid-range jumper. Larry O'Bannon scored a pair from the foul line for Snaidero, before Vitols reeled off 5 straight to fix the score at 32-16 after 10 minutes. Gigena scored from downtown early in the second quarter to put a charge in Snaidero, sparking a 20-4 that got the visitors right back in the game. Gigena highlighted the run with 7 more points, before Jaacks tied the game at 36-36 midway through the quarter. A new game began with a triple from Vitols, then Damon Williams converted two from the free throw line, and big men Jelic and Helmanis pushed their side ahead 43-38. Antonutti and Vitols exchanged three-pointers before Christian Di Giuliomaria dunked to close the first half scoring at 46-43.
Helmanis started the second half with a big one from downtown to boost Ventspils, but Snaidero's Latvian shooter, Valters, answered with a mid-range jumper to keep his team close. Jelic pushed Ventspils forward again, but back-to-back layups from Valters put the visitors up 51-50 with four minutes left in the quarter. Johnson scored from long distance, but Williams converted a three-point-play to give Snaidero its first lead of the night, 54-55, with a minute-and-a-half left in the third quarter. Vaikulis sent the lead back to Ventspils from the foul line, then Jaacks and Valters exploded with a 7-0 run for a 58-64 margin for Snaidero at the end of the quarter. Shannon and Jelic scored all the points for Ventspils to tie the game at 65-65 early in the last period. Di Giuliomaria scored for another Udine lead, then back-to-back triples from Shannon and Johnson pushed Ventspils to 71-67 with five minutes left in the game, finishing a 13-3 run. Valters tied the score again, then his jumper gave Snaidero a slim 71-73 margin, but Johnson and Shannon made layups to make the score 76-74 with one minute remaining. Jelic missed two free throws, but Justin Love conquered the decisive offensive rebound and then Shannon sealed the win from the foul line, before Gigena missed the potential triple that could have tied the score.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006